Nolan Arenado Wins Wilson Defensive Player of the Year at Third Base


Nolan Arenado is really good. I mean REALLY good. The baseball world is starting to recognize it too. He won the 2015 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year at Third Base today, joining Andrelton Simmons (Atlanta Braves), Paul Goldschmidt (Arizona Diamondbacks), and Dee Gordon (Miami Marlins) as the top infield in baseball. The award is given to the best player at each position, regardless of league. This is Arenado’s third defensive award this season; he won his third consecutive Gold Glove award and his first Fielding Bible Award after finishing second the past two years for that award.  The Diamondbacks won Defensive Team of the Year and Simmons won best defender.

Arenado’s defense has been his calling card since entering the league in 2013. Hell, he won his first Gold Glove in his rookie year, a wonderfully surprising achievement after questions about his defense early in his minor league career. He had improved steadily over the course of his minor league career, but no one expected what we see today. Regardless, Arenado has proven time and again that he’s worthy of the recognition he’s getting; he led the league in put-outs, assists, and double-plays for third basemen.

Arenado is one of those guys that people will pay money to see. I’ll pay to see very few guys; Mike Trout, Clayton Kershaw (much to the Rockies demise), Carlos Correa, and Nolan top that list (not in that order). It’s not that he makes the simple plays; it’s that he makes the hard plays look simple. Have you ever tried to do the stuff Nolan does? It’s so $*&@ hard! Arenado makes plays that us humans only dream about.

That wasn’t always the case, though. It took until this year to get the national media attention he deserved. The now defunct (sadly) Grantland compared him with the other uber-talented under-25 third baseman in the league, Manny Machado. Playing for the Rockies can’t help a guy’s exposure, but I’m shocked that it’s taken three seasons for the world to realize that Arenado is a human highlight reel.

Hey guys, remember when we thought Arenado was going to move to first? Yeah, me neither.

Next: Rockies Year in Review: Christian Bergman

Check out our continuing 2015 Player Review series with the latest installment, Charlie Blackmon.